1. Etymological sources of modern English

English has one of the largest vocabularies of all spoken languages – 800 000 words. The vocabulary of ModE is 13 times the vocabulary of OE.

Words belonging to the native word stock are also called words of native origin versus borrowed words, loanwords or borrowings that are borrowed from other languages. Words of native origin are words used in the earliest available manuscripts from the OE period that are of Indo-European and Germanic origin. Native words are characterized by: a wide range of lexical and grammatical valency, high frequency value and a developed polysemy; they are often monosyllabic, show great word-building power and are used in a number of set expressions.

Borrowing of words from other languages is conditioned by political, economic and cultural relations between nations. The source, the scope and the semantic sphere of loanwords are all dependent on historical factors. The very fact that up to 70% of the English vocabulary consists of loanwords and only 30% of the words are of native origin is a result of the specific conditions under which English developed as a language. Historic events and processes that influenced borrowing are the following: the Roman conquest, the introduction of Christianity, the Danish and Norman conquests and in modern times the specific features marking the development of British colonialism and imperialism. The term source of borrowing should be distinguished from the term origin of borrowing. The first is applied to the language from which the word was borrowed from and the second – to the language a word was borrowed from. For example, paper was borrowed from French, papier, but its origin is Gr. – papyrus. Also, table was borrowed from Fr., but its origin is Latin – tabula. We distinguish semantic and translation loans among loanwords. Example of a translation loan: chain smoker from G. Kettenraucher – we have a literal morpheme-for-morpheme translation. The term semantic loan is used to denote the development of a new meaning in an English word due to the influence of a related word in another language.

Loanwords are subjected to assimilation: semantic, phonological and grammatical. The degree of assimilation depends on: 1) the length of the period during which the word has been used in the receiving language; 2) the importance of the loanword in the process of communication and 3) its frequency. We have to bear in mind that 2) and 3) are interdependent.

2. Native words and loan words

3. Words of Indo-European, Germanic and Latin origin

4. Words from French and other languages (Molchova)

5. Creative sources of Modern English

6. Onomatopoeia

7. Folk Etymology

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